Doug at HBR
3 Reasons Your Strategy Meetings Irritate Your Team

Originally published on Harvard Business Review Used well, strategy meetings provide clarity and momentum. They align a team around key decisions and create positive energy. Used poorly, strategy meetings irritate people. They waste time and energy, or worse, strengthen entrenched points of view creating frustration and resignation. In my work with companies from large Fortune 500…

Doug at HBR
Debriefing: A Simple Tool to Help Your Team Tackle Tough Problems

This article was originally published July 2, 2015 on Harvard Business Review Your team has identified an important goal to hit, challenge to be addressed, or opportunity to be pursued. You call a meeting or two, set objectives, put a plan together, and start to execute. Everything looks good on paper. But then your plan…

Doug at HBR
Successful Innovators Don’t Care About Innovating

Successful innovators care about solving interesting and important problems — innovation is merely a byproduct. If this distinction seems like hair-splitting, it isn’t. The two focuses create vastly different realities. Focusing on innovating — as a worthy goal unto itself — tends to be born from self-centered motives: We need to protect ourselves from competitive…

Doug at HBR
The Trouble with Leadership Theories

Several years ago a client of mine, Rob, fell in love with Jim Collins’s book Good to Great. Within a month he had given copies to everyone on his team. Soon after, language from the book made its way into Rob’s everyday speech. One idea he especially loved was Level-5 leadership. “If we want to…

Doug at HBR
What’s Your $1 Billion Idea?

Anyone would be inspired by the story of Nick Woodman, the CEO of GoPro, a $2.5B company that makes wearable HD video cameras.  The highlights: In the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, Woodman blows $4M of VC money on a failed venture called funBugs.com, an ultimately ill-conceived loyalty, sweepstakes, and entertainment website.  In 2002, unsure of what…

Doug at HBR
The Hidden Dangers of Playing It Safe

Last year Dina, a CEO I’d been working with, felt that leaders on her team were playing it too safe.  They weren’t finding and pursuing new growth opportunities and it was crippling the organization.  She kicked off her October management team meeting, which I was attending, by reading the following passage from my book: The…

Doug at HBR
Closing the Chasm Between Strategy and Execution

Setting strategy is elegant. It’s a clean and sophisticated process of collecting and analyzing data, generating insights, and identifying smart paths forward. Done at arm’s length in an academic fashion, tight logic is the only glue needed to hold ideas together. The output is a smooth narrative in a professional-looking document made up of Venn…

Doug at HBR
Good Leaders Get Emotional

Much of what comes out of people’s mouths in business these days is sugar-coated, couched, and polished. The messages are manufactured, trying to strike just the right tone. Genuine emotion stands in stark contrast. It’s a real person sharing a real feeling. When we hear it, we’re riveted — for one because it’s rare, but…